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Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle

(Alfie Bloom #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  415 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Alfie Bloom's life is dull. Dull and lonely, and this summer is set to be the most boring yet. All of that changes when he is summoned to the bizarre offices of mysterious solicitor, Caspian Bone, where he discovers he has inherited a castle full of wonders that has been sealed for centuries. Alfie is astounded to learn he was born in that very castle six hundred years ago ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published June 4th 2015 by Scholastic UK (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Suad Shamma
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2016
This was such a fun middle grade read, with all the right elements for a fantasy adventure mystery. Strange inheritance? A castle? Two creepy headmistresses? Magic? A flying bear rug?! Time travel?!

Yep, the story includes all these points and so much more. Alfie Bloom is a really likable protagonist, who seems to settle into his new role a bit too quickly, but proves to have what it takes to go on this unexpected magical quest that is thrust upon him.

When Alfie meets an unnerving solicitor who
Jo Clarke
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this today and got so caught up in this amazing story I couldn't put it down. It tells the story of Alfie Bloom who inherits a magical castle and learns lots of mysterious wonders about himself and the castle. It was full of adventure and suspense with a nice twist at the end. For me it invoked memories of so many great books I've read as a child. We got to meet lots of wonderful characters and they were so vividly told I could clearly picture them. I was totally gripped with t ...more
Aubsome Dude
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is the perfect adventure to mystery ratio. I never wanted to put it down because of the amazingly structured, clever characters, the interesting, fun plot, and the never ending phenomenal details. Every book and cranny of this book made me want to read more. This book had a great intro and outro that really helped wrap it up. I loved it even though sometimes it could be a little confusing.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book!! Loved the characters, loved the story. loved the Castle. loved the friendships, loved it ALL!! Can't wait to read the next! ...more
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the most readable novels I’ve read in some time, Gabrielle Kent has crafted a finely woven mash-up of some of the best known children’s literature and created her own excellent adventure. Alfie Bloom, poor and bullied, receives a peculiar summons from an even stranger solicitor and discovers that he has inherited an extraordinary castle. Added to this, he appears to be the custodian of a potent magic, part of which allows him to ‘timeslip’ back hundreds of years. Once living in his castle ...more
Molly Sheridan
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbidge Castle was a very good and well written book. All the characters were very well thought and easy to relate to. When i was reading the book I would stop and while i was doing something else i would think of the characters and what would happen next. This was a very captivating and magical book.I loved the characters and their secrets. Hands down this was great book and i can't wait for the next one.

-Molly Sheridan
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this. It has all my favourite ingredients - a mysterious benefactor, a surprise inheritance, good friendships, magic, intrigue and a sprinkling of myths and legends. I've already ordered book 2! ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has the perfect mix of adventure and mystery. It doesn't blab on but does incorporate clever characters and a fun plot. It is a little confusing, but if you are not to young this is an exciting element. ...more
Jessica McKenna
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read that professes to be something fans of Harry Potter will like that I actually felt most fans of Harry Potter would like.

It's charming and crazy the way the first HP novel is charming and crazy - A Harry Potter for an even younger audience, that seems to maintain its status as kid-friendly.

If you're a parent of a kid who you feel might be too young to read the more serious aspects of the Harry Potter stories (basically books 4-7....), this is a good starter that w
Lindy MacLaine
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Imaginative, great characters, fun-filled, playful mystery and adventure.
Russell Sanderson
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alfie Bloom is living a normal, if humdrum life with his inventor father, when a letter from an unfamiliar firm of solicitors changes his life forever. When Alfie meets Caspian Bone, the raven-like solicitor, he’s amazed to learn that he has inherited a castle - with one condition - Alfie and his father have to live in it.

To Alfie, this presents no problem at all. Firstly, the castle is next to the village of Hexbridge, where his favourite cousins live. Secondly – he’s going to have his own cas
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Alfie Bloom has been miserable since his mother died. His father spends most of his time either working or trying to invent things. He has only one friend at school and she will be out of town all summer. All of this changes on the last day of school, when Alfie learns that he has inherited the mysterious Hexbridge Castle. He knows of the castle of course, his cousins live nearby. But he never imagined the magical secrets that the castle has held on to all of these years and the role he is to pl ...more
Teresa Edmunds
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Afie is an average boy with one best friend and a dad who fiddles with inventions. His life becomes more exciting when a strange message arrives informing him of a midnight meeting with a dark stranger. This book is full of magic, mystery, friendship, and even a dragon. I have high hopes for this series.
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Pages: 324
Lexile Level: 890

Do you love fantasy stories full of magic and adventure? Then this book is for you. It tells the tale of Alfie Bloom who inherits a magical castle and learns lots of mysterious wonders about himself and the castle. You meet lots of wonderful characters and they are so vividly described that you can clearly picture them in your head. It is full of adventure and suspense with a nice twist at the end.

Stars: 4/5

Reviewed by : Jen T.
Abi Elphinstone
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'Alfie Bloom' boasts wonderful storytelling coupled with a magic that stays with you long after the final page. As Alfie's Dad says: 'The world is a magnificent, magical place with so much left to be discovered.' A cracking debut, narrated with warmth, wit and originality. Full review to follow on ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very interesting and enjoyable. It was easy for me to stay interested because of the great details and emotions the author put into the story. I really like how the author goes on to explain all of the events and what the characters are going through! I definitly recommend this book!
Sarah Wilson
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such an amazing book! I'd forgotten how much I love stories like this - full review to come! ...more
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A really fun book for middle grade. Watch for full review on Starships and Dragonwings!!
It was okay. I mean, the universe and characters were good, but this book felt more like an introduction to bigger adventures than a stand alone. And I felt like it could have been... more.

The first half of the book in particular felt quite slow, especially compared to everything that happened in the second half. You could guess a lot of stuffs beforehand, which didn't necessarily spoiled the whole thing, but it leaves you wanting for a bit more. Also, some bits seemed too easy in how the events
Karen Barber
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alfie is surprised when he learns he's inherited a castle. But not as surprised as he is when he learns more about the person who bequeathed him the castle, and what it means for Alfie.
From the moment he arrives at Hexbridge Castle Alfie gets the feeling that this is a good place. However, it's clear that there are secrets being hidden...and that they involve his new head teachers.
This is an exciting read for younger readers, and with just a hint of terror. Great fun, and left in a good place fo
Julie Suzanne
An enjoyable, creative fantasy, Middle Grade. I believe there are at least 3 more books in the Alfie Bloom series, but this works as a stand-alone, much to my relief. Sure, my students will want to know what happens next as Alfie develops his magical abilities and learns more secrets of the Hexbridge Castle, but the conflict in this plot is resolved. Characters are pretty flat, villains stereotypical, but Alfie is a loveable character. I'd recommend it to kids for sure! ...more
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
When I read reviews for the Alfie Bloom books on Goodreads and saw that it said: Perfect for fans of J.K Rowling, I was so excited to read other Potteresque books! I couldn't have been more delighted with it! The Hexbridge Castle (Hogwarts!-sort of) was a perfect magical and I loved reading about all the amazing rooms! I would love to spend hours in the castle library and feast on Ashford's amazing cooking in my own great hall (YUS Hogwarts!!) My absolute favourite character of this book would h ...more
Neil Goodman
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book on a whim and out of curiosity at having had weekly lectures from the author while I was at University. I went in knowing it was primarily a children's book but found myself drawn in all the same, once I'd started reading.

The story is wonderful and was joy to read before going to bed or during my lunches at work. A nice, wee escape into a warm, fantastical world with characters that are entertaining and very memorable. Gabrielle Kent paints a vision of Alfie's world very well.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-2019
In theory, "The Secrets of Hexbridge Castle" had all it needed to be a really fun book. An inherited castle, time travel, dragons, a flying bear... But the characters were so bland and lacked even the bare minimum of development and depth (and I'm really not expecting that much complexity in a middle grade book about 12-year-olds!) that I really couldn't get into it.

And even though it had characters of colour, it felt like pure tokenism to me. Not to mention that it's basically a story about bo
Jennifer Buccolo
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you loved Harry Potter, you'll love this story too! Great read!! ...more
Patricia Kaniasty
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a good read. Combine "Harry Potter", "Charlie Bone" and "Eragon" and you have "Alfie Bloom". All the best into one story. I loved the characters and the authors writing was brilliant. Lots excitement from chapter 1 to the end. Can't wait to read book 2. ...more
John Fulton
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m a bit late to the party with Gabrielle Kent’s debut novel. Alfie Bloom’s second adventure, Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief, was released just recently, so I thought it was about time I got on board.

There’s a pattern to books of this type – a young protagonist with an old-fashioned British first name receives a letter telling him about his magical inheritance, and he’s thrown into a world of magic and mystery with monsters and villains, usually accompanied by two companions – a boy and a g
Stephanie Davies
Apr 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I was lucky enough to appropriate a proof copy that was lying in the staff room, and read this over a couple of lunch breaks. The premise is very basic: 11-year-old Alfie Bloom inherits a magic castle, adventures ensue. It's sort of E. Nesbit meets book:The Demon Headmaster|139226]. I found the plot very predictable, but then I think I'm a little older than the intended audience. Alfie is an easily likeable protagonist, and I really liked the talking bear rug.

It's a promising children's debut, s
Camilla Nimue Lind
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very much enjoyed this book.
Once I got a bit into it, the story became very engrossing.
Hoping it will be released in Norwegian soon, so that my littlest nephew can read it. ^_^
Loved Alfie Bloom and looking forward to the next instalment.
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Gabrielle grew up in the 1980’s riding her bike into trouble, drawing monsters, reading comics and playing games on her best friend’s Atari. Her first job was in video-games working on games for PC, Playstation and XBox. She spent sixteen years as a university lecturer teaching students how to make videogames and ran the Animex festival of Animation and Computer Games where she got to meet all of ...more

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